A 23-year-old French soldier was arrested at his air force base near the city of Lyon for planning an attack on a local mosque, the French interior ministry said.

The soldier held views "close to those of the radical extreme right" and had already attacked a mosque in the Bordeaux region last year without causing much damage, the ministry said on Sunday, without giving further details.

Security services are grappling with an increase in far-right activity in France, home to Europe's largest Muslim minority.

The government closed down half a dozen far-right groups in July after the death of a left-wing student in a brawl between fringe groups.

Source: Agencies